National Survey of Family Growth

2015-2017 NSFG: Public-Use Data Files, Codebooks, and Documentation

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Codebooks and Documentation



Design and Data Collection Methods

Beginning with the release of data for 2011–2013, detailed information on the survey design and operations, weighting, and variance estimation was compiled in four documents available on the NSFG website. These documents replace the “Series 1” and “Series 2” reports published by NCHS for the 2006–2010 and earlier releases, which can be found within the NSFG’s “Publications and Information Products” pages. The survey design and all related aspects were planned with the entire period 2011 to 2019 in mind, thus are consistent from release to release. The documents below provide information on survey design and operations for  2015-2017, and reflect only minor changes and updates.

Variance Estimation Examples

Each of the PDF files below provides programs and output in SAS and STATA for three examples of variance estimation for the 2015–2017 NSFG data. These examples cover some of the basic types of variance estimation you may do in your analyses. See also the section “Sample Weights and Variance Estimation” in the 2015–2017 NSFG User’s Guide [PDF – 982 KB] for more information. If you have any questions about any of these examples, please e-mail the NSFG staff at


Variance Estimation:


2002, 2006–2010, 2011–2013, 2013–2015, and 2015–2017 Design and Weight Variables

Design variable 2002 2006–2010 2011–2013 2013–2015 2015–2017
Four Cluster/Panel Variable SECU_R (fem resp)
SECU_P (fem preg)
SECU (male resp)
Final post-stratified, fully adjusted case weight FINALWGT WGTQ1Q16 WGT2011_2013 WGT2013_2015 WGT2015_2017

*Note: See 2011-2019 Combined Files: Selected Data and Documentation for more information about combining data across file releases and weights for combined files.

See the 2015-2017 User’s Guide Appendix 2 for more information about combining data across file releases.




Informed Consent Materials


Downloadable Data Files


Program Statements


Other Data Files

In addition to the 2015-2017 NSFG public-use data files, researchers may access two additional types of restricted-use data files available only through the NCHS or Census Research Data Centers (RDCs).

Restricted-use analytic variables: The analytic variables available in this file were suppressed or modified on the public-use data files to further protect the identity and confidentiality of the survey respondents. The variables are described in Appendix 7 of the User’s Guide.

Contextual data: The 2015-2017 contextual data file consists of four variables: CASEID, the State FIPS code and County FIPS code of the respondent’s address at the time of interview, and the State FIPS code of the respondent’s address at the time of the previous Census. These geographic variables are only available through the NCHS and Census RDCs due to the increased risk of deductive disclosure of individual respondent’s identities when such geographic variables are linked to the survey data. FIPS codes can be used to merge external data with the 2015-2017 NSFG public-use files.

For more information about using these data, including options on accessing the RDC and associated charges, visit the RDC website.


For additional information or questions please contact the NSFG staff via mail, e-mail, or telephone at:

National Survey of Family Growth
Reproductive Statistics Branch
Division of Vital Statistics
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road
Hyattsville, MD 20782
(301) 458-4222